Home > Uncategorized > Christie Using Global Warming Funds to Expand NJ Turnpike

Christie Using Global Warming Funds to Expand NJ Turnpike

Christie’s Warped Priorities the New Abnormal

[Update: 7/16/11 – first media coverage I’ve seen – over 2 months late: $31 Million to Fund Green Energy Projects – end]

Governor Christie’s FY’12 DEP budget uses global warming money to subsidize the NJ Turnpike widening project’s “No Net Loss” reforestry requirements.

That’s right – after stealing hundreds of millions last year, this year global warming funds are used to subsidize cars, the major source of global warming pollution in NJ.

Does it get any worse than that?

Last year’s budget diverted Turnpike money allocated to tree replanting, a move that received NO oversight by the legislature. But it outraged residents and Mayors who were promised trees but got screwed. Litigation ensued. The severe local criticism was similar to the reaction to the GS Parkway “tree massacre” by the Turnpike Authority.

So this year they fix that on the back of global warming money. All the details below from our friends at PEER.

The DEP budget is up today before the Assembly Budget Committee.

We’ll let you know if they ask any tough questions – I don’t expect that the Dems on that Committee will hold the Christie Administration accountable for bad budgets and a horrendous policy record, but would assume at least the elimination of D&R Canal Commission funding would be probed.

Here is Commissioner Martin’s budget testimony delivered to the Senate on April 4. Here is OLS analysis of DEP budget. Barbara Buono was the only Senator to ask any tough questions, and she focused exclusively on the DEP’s proposed waiver rule. Last year, Martin attacked Buono for asking some tough questions during budget hearings, particularly regulatory inertia on drinking water protections.

News Releases

For Immediate Release: May 4, 2011
Contact: Bill Wolfe (609) 397-4861; Kirsten Stade (202) 265-7337

GOVERNOR CHRISTIE’S GLOBAL WARMING HONEY POT – Eco-Fund Raided for Anti-Eco Projects; Recycling $ Recycled to General Fund

Trenton – New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s proposed budget siphons off global warming funds dedicated to clean energy conversion into highway-widening and development projects promoting fossil fuel consumption, according to documents posted today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). Christie also wants to seize recycling funds to pay for general state operations.

“Ripping off clean energy money to pay for projects that make our carbon footprint even bigger is warped,” stated New Jersey PEER Director Bill Wolfe. “Long term investments in global warming and environmental programs should be safeguarded, not stolen.”  The Assembly Budget Committee will consider Gov. Christie’s proposed environmental budget at a hearing tomorrow, Thursday, May 5.

Gov. Christie also has threatened to unilaterally take New Jersey out of the 10-state Northeast Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).  In 2008, the state passed the Global Warming Solutions Fund Act which requires that “up to 100% “of revenues from the sale of carbon credits under RGGI be used to fund energy efficiency, renewable energy, innovative greenhouse gas reduction technologies and other measures to reduce energy demands and costs for low- and moderate-income New Jersey citizens.

Notwithstanding these requirements, Christie raided green funds last year to address budget gaps. For the upcoming 2011-12 fiscal year, however, he ramps up the diversions, but to support construction projects and development programs:

  • Approximately $1.3 million from the Global Warming Solutions Fund will finance a newly created Office of Economic Growth and Green Energy.
  • Nearly $7 million from the Global Warming Solutions Fund would be taken to support New Jersey Turnpike Authority’s roadway widening project from Interchange 6 to Interchange 9 “to pay for the costs of replanting trees and impacts of the deforestation” from road expansion. Similar diversion of these revenues last year to pay for Turnpike widening re-forestry sparked outrage; and
  • $20 million will be taken out of the State Recycling Fund this year ($7 million was diverted last year) and placed in the state General Fund. The Recycling Fund is funded by a garbage disposal surcharge to support municipal and county recycling programs.

In addition, funding for the staff of the Delaware & Raritan Canal Commission would be eliminated. A special joint hearing of the Assembly and Senate Environment Committees conducted an oversight hearing last week to express opposition to that move.

“Governor Christie promised honest budgets and an end to one-shot gimmicks but seems addicted to them” Wolfe added. “For example, turnpike tolls should fund tree replanting required by our “No Net Loss”law. Similarly, the new Office of Economic Growth is not legislatively authorized and its charter of promoting economic growth conflicts with the core mission of the Department of Environmental Protection which, as its name suggests, is to protect the environment.”


Look at the Christie budget plan

See what Christie did in 2010 to the Global Warming Response Act

Note continuing environmental disinvestment under Christie

New Jersey PEER is a state chapter of a national alliance of state and federal agency resource professionals working to ensure environmental ethics and government accountability
Categories: Uncategorized Tags:
  1. Harry Schwartz
    May 5th, 2011 at 13:04 | #1

    The environmenatl news from CC just keeps getting worse. Now he’s decided to divert $20 million from the State Recycling Fund and place it in the state General Fund – which goes towards things like the $200M he’s promised “the American Dream” complex. Disgraceful! And municipal and county recycling programs get the shaft.

  1. No trackbacks yet.
You must be logged in to post a comment.